Metal: Hellsinger, like Doom and Guitar Hero inspired this musical FPS, the interview

Metal: Hellsinger, like Doom and Guitar Hero inspired this musical FPS, the interview


Made up of veterans from studios like DICE, Fatshark and Avalanche, The Outsiders is a team that has hardcore action games and first person shooter in its DNA. For this reason, David Goldfarb told us in the Metal interview: Hellsinger that he didn't know how his colleagues would react when he came up with the idea to develop a music game.

"I had wanted to create a music game for years. game set in the flames of hell and in which the rhythm component and metal music were at the center of the experience ", explains the creative director during an interview with Gamescom 2022." The idea for Metal: Hellsinger came to me for many years before: I was playing Doom and listening to ball music while killing demons left and right. I thought it was a good idea, but at the time I was working on another game, so I had to wait for the right moment to propose it to someone. " Yet there was no resistance: for the developers of The Outsiders, the idea of ​​a Doom in a musical key plucked the right strings.

"Everyone in the studio loves music and there are many musicians among us" , says producer Shila Vikström. "David plays the guitar, I sing and many others play an instrument or just devour music all day. Maybe not everyone loves metal, but the idea of ​​working on a music project was immediately appreciated".

Pedal to the metal

Demons, flames, demonic swords and metal music are the ingredients of Metal: Hellsinger Among the sources of inspiration, Goldfarb mentions games like Doom 64, Rock Band and Brutal Legends, but when Metal: Hellsinger was in pre-production, there was no such game. "The team now has around thirty people, but there were only about twenty at the start of development," says Vikström. "As we were exploring a new genre, it was much better to work with a small team so that there was better communication between everyone in the studio."

When it finally releases in a couple of weeks, Metal: Hellsinger won't be the only experiment merging the shooter genre with the music game genre, as it was beaten to time by Bullets for Minute ( Gun Jam is also in development). Since they are both shooters in which to eliminate demons of hell to the rhythm of the music, BPM and Metal: Hellsinger are very similar to the point that it is easy to confuse the two games. Yet there is no doubt that The Outsiders project promises to be more varied, rich and refined, also thanks to the work that the Swedish team has responded to in the creation of a diversified and modular soundtrack. Vikström explains: "We made original music for every single level. Even though they are all metal songs, each of them is very different and represents a particular sub-genre, which is why we have involved a very diverse cast of artists. The songs we have composed are think with in mind the atmosphere and the feelings that you wanted to communicate in each level, both in terms of rhythm and narrative ".

There are several reasons why the development team preferred to compose the songs internally of the soundtrack, rather than using popular licensed songs. "One reason is certainly technical," says Goldfarb. "For each song we needed to have all the individual stems, that is the separate tracks of all the elements of the song. In the game we have these different levels of Fury: at level 1 the music is more in the background, maybe it is composed only of the synth and some percussion; then when you play well and move up to the next Fury level new instruments are added, the guitars come into play and the music becomes more intense. If we had had a song ready we would not have been able to render the experience as dynamic as we would have liked from a technical and mechanical point of view. "

Metal: Hellsinger, these creatures can do nothing against the power of metal This kind of versatility is essential when it comes to perfecting or balancing the design of the game. In Metal: Hellsinger, weapon bullets and enemy shots are linked to the bpm of the song in the background, so instead of affecting the damage of the gun or the number of creatures in each room, in some cases the developers just need to slow down or speed up the pace of the song.

Changing the difficulty level does not, however, alter the intensity of the song or the number of enemies on the screen: in addition to the damage inflicted and the damage suffered, it is above all the precision required when entering the inputs that changes. "At lower difficulty levels you may not be perfectly timed and can attack enemies, but at higher difficulty levels the game is much more severe and there is no room for error", explains Vikström.

The list of artists involved in the soundtrack of Metal: Hellsinger The second reason is instead linked to the legal sphere and the possibility for fans and content creators to show the game on Twitch and YouTube without infringing any kind of copyright. "Metal: Hellsinger is very well suited to being played live stream and we wanted people to be able to share their experience with others in an integral way and without having to censor the audio," explains the producer.

Working on original songs allowed the team to create songs that, in addition to being coherent with the atmosphere and setting of each level, told the story of the world and the characters through the lyrics of the songs. "The keenest gamers will realize that the songs are about the world and what's going on," adds Goldfarb. "We couldn't have done the same thing if we had just put the songs of Ozzy Osbourne into the game."

Not only fire and flames in Metal: Hellsinger, but also snowy and freezing environments In a time when many people discovered Metallica only after watching an episode of Stranger Things, the team of Metal: Hellsinger hopes that his game can bring new people to know the different nuances of the musical genre. "You may think you are not a huge metal fan, but listening to our soundtrack you discover that there are sub-genres of metal that you like," explains Goldfarb. "For those who have never listened to metal I could stay here and recommend bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Fire, but it would be great if through this strange shooter people can find and appreciate the fantastic bands that are out there."
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